Important lessons I've learned from the movies:
Never assume a deranged killer is dead just because he's been shot multiple times in the chest
Don't panic if your plane has been hijacked by terrorists – a civilian will easily be able to land the plane with help from the control tower
To solve a case, a police officer must be suspended from the investigation
No matter how much money, strength or technology the bad guy has – if he's truly evil, he'll never win
While this may be a little naïve, I don't think bad guys win in business either. So as tempting as it might be to secure your next promotion with a little underhanded maneuvering, in the long run, it takes a lot more to be successful. If there's one thing you can learn from the movies, it's that treachery is always uncovered. So take your inspiration from the big screen and avoid the following pitfalls to really get ahead at work.

Lying
We all know that lying is wrong, but somehow it seems easier to excuse in the workplace. Of course we never call it lying – it's "enhancing your resume" or "embellishing product features." But whatever you call it, it's still lying and it's still wrong. And if you do it too much, you're bound to get caught.

The problem is that it's impossible to tell just one lie. You end up having to perpetuate your myth, making it necessary to repeat the lie a dozen times. For example, if you tell your boss you have experience designing storyboards (when the closest you've ever come to a storyboard is the oversized book of fairy tales you bought your niece), odds are you'll have to do one at some point. Then you'll be forced to come up with a lie to explain why you don't know where to start. And even if you do manage to perpetuate the lie, you risk appearing incompetent when you don't meet your boss's expectations. Moral of the story…don't lie.

Employers are equally guilty of lying. When you're trying to hire a sought-after employee, it's easy to exaggerate company perks, job opportunities and earning potential. But don't fall into this trap. If someone signs on the basis of false promises, odds are this person will quit, leaving you short-staffed and short-changed after investing in new-employee training.

Similarly, don't lie to your customers. Consumers are extremely savvy nowadays and you only get one chance to impress them. If you exaggerate product claims or lie about certain benefits, people will talk. And remember, bad word-of-mouth will dent your sales faster than a cyanide scare.

Complaining about the Boss
While most people respect their bosses, it's pretty tempting to complain about them. But this is a temptation that should be avoided at all costs! You know how the soldier who shows a comrade a photo of his beloved in battle is guaranteed to get hit by an enemy sniper? If you complain about your boss, you're guaranteed to get found out.

Most people don't come into the office for kicks. We do it for a million other reasons – to make money, advance our careers, build a name for ourselves – you never know what a colleague's personal agenda is. And if you're bad-mouthing your boss, it's easy for someone else to repeat your comments in order to get ahead. Of course, your boss is human so blind devotion isn't necessary. Just refrain from complaining about him or her in front of your colleagues. After all, you have your own professional goals, and making your boss happy is an important step in achieving them.

Refusing Assignments
We all get stuck with tasks that we think are risky, menial or completely insane. And no matter how much you may want to refuse a particular assignment, in most cases it's your job, so you do it anyway.

If you think a particular project is risky or just plain crazy, outline your objections (make sure you justify them) and present them to your boss. If she still wants to go ahead, you've shown that you care about the company's future, but you've also covered your bases should the project fail. And if it turns out to be a success, you can claim the credit for pulling off a major coup!

Refusing a task just because you think it's menial or beneath you can be professional suicide. Your colleagues will resent you, and your boss will think you're being petty. If you're consistently given menial tasks, it may be time to reclarify your job description. It may be that everyone's expected to pull their weight with administrative tasks, maybe it's time to discuss the scope of your position.

Complaining about Your Workload
Everyone's busy – that's why it's called work. Constantly complaining about your workload will only serve to frustrate your colleagues and give your supervisor a reason to doubt your competence. If you're truly overworked, sit down with your supervisor and explain that you need to start prioritizing tasks and declining new assignments if you want to deliver optimal performance. If he doesn't accept this, it may be time to evaluate how happy you are in your position.

Passing the Buck
Everyone makes mistakes, so if you mess up, 'fess up. Don't try to dodge blame or pass the buck. You may get away with it once or twice, but I guarantee it'll come back to haunt you. If people find out later that you were responsible for a mistake, you will have destroyed your credibility at work. Own up to your mistakes and you may find your colleagues respect you for your honesty.

1. Source: Fast Company


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